Local officials worry about losing tax revenue

Capital News Service
LANSING – County governments across Michigan are keeping a close eye on what legislators do about repealing the personal property tax this year. Because counties’ reliance on the tax varies, the effect of repealing it would be much greater in some than in others. St. Joseph County is the second most-dependent on the personal property tax, which accounts for 26.9 percent of its budget. It is behind Calhoun County, which gets 27 percent of its revenue that way, according to the Michigan Association of Counties.

Tax ruling could power wind energy projects

Capital News Service
LANSING – A recent personal property tax ruling that will cost counties millions of dollars in revenue could prove vital for utility companies and energy inducing manufacturers around the state. The State Tax Commission ruling allows energy companies to pay substantially less in personal property taxes and gives a break to state manufacturers as well. Companies that build wind turbine blades, “casts” – which house the turbines — and related parts now pay significantly less in property taxes as a result of the ruling. In his State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder stressed how the reduction on taxes for industrial equipment will effectively boost the economy and create jobs. Mark Clevey, who is the manager of renewable energy programs at the Michigan Energy Office, called the tax ruling a positive for the future of state energy businesses.

Tax repeal would hit some counties harder

Capital News Service
LANSING – While lawmakers consider repealing the personal property tax on business, some officials in Northern and Southeast Michigan endorse the proposal while others argue that it will cause a major reduction to local government budgets. Rep. Frank Foster, R-Pellston, said he supports the concept. “Businesses are the ones who bring more money to the state,” he said. “It is necessary to build a proper investment climate to attract new businesses.”
According to Foster, manufacturers would benefit the most, as they have to pay the tax on machinery and all other equipment. Elimination of the tax would mean that they save money to purchase additional equipment and hire more people, he said.

Bill would clarify property tax exemptions for state farmers

Capital News Service
LANSING-Improving farmland could be cheaper for famers if personal property tax exemptions expand. Rep Kevin Daley, R-Lum, introduced a bill that the house has passed to exempt tiling equipment from personal property taxes. Farm machinery is already exempt from personal property taxes, but this bill clarifies that it includes tiling. The tax on tiling equipment is inconsistently administered around the state. The current personal property tax definition of exemptions for agriculture does not specifically mention tiling, creating different interpretations.